Secondary trauma is the cumulative physical, emotional, and psychological effects of being continually exposed to traumatic events while working in a helping capacity. Secondary trauma is common in the legal profession, and it is important for lawyers to understand how to navigate the impact of dealing with other people’s hardships. The Honorable Charles Dorsey III, Associate Judge, Baltimore City Circuit Court, recently shared how trauma impacted him personally and professionally, ultimately causing him to crash and burn. Luckily, he got involved with the Lawyer Assistance Program, and picked up tools to be able to deal with the secondary trauma he experienced working in the juvenile and criminal court systems. He explained that the Lawyer Assistance Program has a community of people that offer support and mentorship, and recommended that anyone dealing with secondary trauma reach out to them. Judge Dorsey shares more of his insights on grappling with secondary trauma and the help offered by Lawyer Assistance Program here:
For over 125 years, the MSBA has served as the home of the legal community in Maryland. Since 1980, we have played a pivotal role in supporting attorneys through the Lawyer Assistance Program, one of the earliest programs of its kind nationwide. Through this initiative, we offer complimentary and confidential aid to attorneys, judges, and law students dealing with personal challenges, such as mental well-being, substance misuse, family concerns, and stress management. For free, confidential assistance from LAP, call 1.888.388.5459.